As an artist, you spend a lot of time on your paintings and often neglect the importance of taking great photos of your artwork. Many artists are so excited to share their latest creations on social media they settle for pictures that do not accurately represent their paintings and drawings.
Selling fine art online is easier than ever before; however, the challenge is producing a high-quality digital image that looks like a professional photographer photographed the painting. Sharing photos online that are blurry, with uneven lighting, or incorrect colors will hurt your brand. Learning to take crisp images of your small and large paintings will help you build a loyal following online and increase your online art sales.
Today, we will show you how to take professional-quality images of your artwork. We will cover techniques for photographing paintings and drawings, as well as some equipment suggestions to help you get started.
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Before we go over the best ways to photograph artwork, let’s look at some camera equipment that will make it possible to produce high-quality images of your artwork.
Taking a photograph with your smartphone is easy and convenient, but you will need higher-quality images if you use the photos on your artist’s website.
Smartphones like the iPhone take decent photographs, but they do not provide enough depth-of-field for paintings and drawings.
Investing in a DSLR camera is the best choice for artists who want to take professional photographs and build an online art business.
A DSLR camera provides you with many different options and control over every aspect of the photograph, including depth-of-field, focus points, and lighting.
Top Affordable DSLR Cameras
Canon EOS Rebel SL3
Canon EOS Rebel T7
No matter how hard you try, taking a picture without a tripod is nearly impossible.
When photographing artwork, it is essential to have a tripod to line up the painting and take a picture that will not be blurry.
You will not achieve the most professional results if you constantly try to take pictures of your artwork without a tripod.
Top Affordable Tripods
Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
Aluminum Travel Tripod
Magnus TR-13 Travel Tripod
Depending on where you photograph your art, you might need special lighting equipment to prevent shadows and keep your images consistent.
If you paint or draw inside, it is likely you already have the lighting equipment you need to take high-quality photographs of your artwork.
Artists tend to place their work near windows since sunlight is natural and a good light source. However, the sun may not be shining directly on the correct area of the painting.
If you find that the sun is casting unflattering shadows on your artwork, try using a reflector to bounce light onto the painting and eliminate the shadows.
Hang The Painting
The first step is to find a neutral colored wall to hand your painting on. If the painting has light colors, a black background will make the colors look more vibrant. If the painting has darker tones, a white or grey background will give you the best results.
It is essential to hang the painting on a wall free of any objects that might cast a shadow on the painting.
Once you have found the right location, use a tripod to take a picture of the painting directly in front of it. A tripod will produce a level photograph with no distortion.
The majority of the time, you will be photographing your artwork indoors. When photographing artwork, it is best to use a constant light source.
Natural sunlight coming through a window is the best light source, but you will need to adjust your position if the sun is not shining on the painting directly.
If you are using artificial light, make sure that the light is white or neutral and does not cast a color on the painting.
It is best to avoid using flash photography when photographing artwork. The bright light from the flash often creates harsh shadows and reflections that can ruin the photograph.
Use lighting stands and place the lights at a 45-degree angle halfway between the camera and the original artwork hanging on the wall. Using lamps on both sides of the camera will eliminate any shadows. Light umbrellas will also help diffuse the light and create a more even exposure.
Position Your Camera
After you have the artwork on the wall and the lighting in the correct positions, line up the camera lens directly in the middle of the painting. Zoom in until most of the artwork fills the camera’s frame. You can crop the digital image to remove the background after taking a photograph.
If you are using a DSLR camera, use the manual mode to control all aspects of the photograph if you are unfamiliar with the settings.
If you are familiar with the settings, you will need, use the aperture priority mode and set your f-stop between f-8 and f-11. Try a few different settings to see what works best for you. Use a mid-range ISO setting between 100 and 400, and the focal length should be 50mm or 55mm.
The final step is to edit the digital images using photo editing software.
Many different software programs are available, but Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for photo editing.
Photoshop offers a wide variety of tools that can be used to adjust the lighting, color, and contrast of your photograph.
You can also use Photoshop to remove any unwanted objects from the photo or crop it to the correct size.
Once you have edited the photo, save it as a JPEG file or a PNG file, and you are ready to upload it to your website or social media account.
Final Thoughts On Photographing Artwork
Taking high-quality photographs of your artwork is essential to show off your work to potential buyers or art lovers.
In order to capture the best possible image, it is vital to use proper lighting and adjust the camera settings accordingly.
Editing the photo in a photo editing software program, such as Adobe Photoshop, is also necessary to get the best results.
By following these simple steps, you can create high-quality photographs of your artwork that will impress your audience.
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